Thursday, October 29, 2009

Most of my childhood memories are church-related, so here's one circa 1984, at approx 7 years old:
Our church was in the market for a building so we actually met in the conference room of a run-down Ramada Inn.
If you've never been to a Pentecostal/charismatic church, you may not be able to imagine the worship experience, what with the singing, dancing and hand waving. Think Lord of the Dance meets Fiddler on the Roof. This was also the early eighties and some church ladies may have believed that constructing a massive hairdo was synonymous with building an Alter for the Lord.
Not everyone dances. Some people march in place to indicate they are indeed the Army of God. A lot of women actually remove their shoes in order to dance/march more comfortably in their pantyhose. Anyway, here's a song we sang, like every week, and probably majorly contributed to my imminent breakdown of sorts.
It's done in a minor key and has sort of a Jewish flavor, culminating in the last 4 lines (beginning with blow the trumpet), when the melody rises a whole octave and when sung with the requisite amount of fervor at 9 o'clock in the morning, may result in a collective group aneurism.

They rush on the city
They run on the wall
great is the army that carries out his word
the Lord utters his voice
before his army
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Zion
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Zion
(clap twice)
Sound the alarm!

Occasionally, a church member (HOTEL member really) would bring a trumpet of his/her own for the holy alarm sounding.

Apparently all the rushing, running and blowing started to get to me. And when you combine that with 1) the general fucked-upedness of my family at the time, which was made plain to me on the way to church that morning (for reasons I won't disclose), and 2) my inner drama queen, it was just too much. My fragile frayed nerves were shot and I crumpled into a pitiful little heap on the floor, overwrought and sobbing.
With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth going on, my sobs weren't heard, so there were some awkward moments of my siblings staring down at me, amazed, dumbfounded and a little embarrassed, before my brother could frantically punch my dad in the arm to alert him to the situation.

My dad picked me up and carried me to the parking lot, where we sat together on the curb while he tried to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. And although we were at church the next week, the week after that and so on, my dad gathered his family up that morning and we went home early (probably stopping along the way for a bucket of chicken- I never said we weren't white trash).


  1. And here I thought Mormonism was bad. That sounds positively creepy. Poor, little, you!

  2. I think trumpets on a Sunday morning would awaken my inner drama queen too!